A-38619, MARCH 4, 1932, 11 COMP. GEN. 335

A-38619: Mar 4, 1932

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

SUBSEQUENTLY GRANTED AN ADMINISTRATIVE PROMOTION WHICH WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN GRANTED HAD IT BEEN UNDERSTOOD THAT THE EMPLOYEE WAS ENTITLED TO THE SAME INCREASE UNDER THE BROOKHART SALARY ACT. NO ADDITIONAL INCREASE UNDER THE STATUTE IS REQUIRED. WAS MADE DIRECTLY BY YOUR OFFICE. THIS SUGGESTS THAT THE INCREASE IS TO BE ADDITIONAL TO ANY PROMOTION MADE AFTER JULY 3. MISS ANDERSON WAS RECEIVING $1. SHE WAS . THE QUESTION IS WHETHER YOUR LANGUAGE ABOVE MEANS THAT THE $60 IS TO BE PYRAMIDED ON THE PROMOTION OF JANUARY 16 OR WHETHER THE ADVANCE OF THAT DATE IS TO BE TREATED AS A BELATED BROOKHART ADJUSTMENT. TROUSDALE WAS ENTITLED. WAS GIVEN AN ADMINISTRATIVE PROMOTION TO $1. BY THE BROOKHART ACT MISS ANDERSON WAS ENTITLED.

A-38619, MARCH 4, 1932, 11 COMP. GEN. 335

CLASSIFICATION OF CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES - BROOKHART SALARY ACT - ADMINISTRATIVE INCREASE WHERE, THROUGH A MISAPPREHENSION OF THE INTENT OF THE STATUTE, AN ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE FAILED TO GRANT AN EMPLOYEE THE PROPER INCREASE IN COMPENSATION UNDER THE TERMS OF THE BROOKHART SALARY ACT, EFFECTIVE JULY 3, 1930, AND SUBSEQUENTLY GRANTED AN ADMINISTRATIVE PROMOTION WHICH WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN GRANTED HAD IT BEEN UNDERSTOOD THAT THE EMPLOYEE WAS ENTITLED TO THE SAME INCREASE UNDER THE BROOKHART SALARY ACT, THE ADMINISTRATIVE INCREASE FROM AND AFTER ITS EFFECTIVE DATE SHOULD BE CONSIDERED AS HAVING BEEN GRANTED UNDER THE TERMS OF THE BROOKHART SALARY ACT, AND NO ADDITIONAL INCREASE UNDER THE STATUTE IS REQUIRED.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE, MARCH 4, 1932:

CONSIDERATION HAS BEEN GIVEN TO YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 26, 1932, AS FOLLOWS:

UNDER DATE OF SEPTEMBER 28, 1931, YOU WROTE THIS DEPARTMENT, A-38619 IN THE MATTER OF THE CLAIM OF MISS DAPHNE ANDERSON FOR ADJUSTMENT OF SALARY UNDER THE WELSH AND BROOKHART ACTS. THE ADJUSTMENT UNDER THE WELSH ACT, RELATING TO EMPLOYMENT UNDER ANOTHER BRANCH OF THE GOVERNMENT, WAS MADE DIRECTLY BY YOUR OFFICE. AS TO THAT UNDER THE BROOKHART ACT YOU FOUND HER ENTITLED TO ONE STEP IN GRADE FROM JULY 3, 1930, AND AUTHORIZED THE DISBURSING CLERK OF THE DEPARTMENT TO ADJUST ACCORDINGLY ON THE NEXT REGULAR ROLL AND "TO CONTINUE TO PAY THE INCREASED RATE PROVIDED THE INCREASE DOES NOT CAUSE THE MAXIMUM SALARY OF HER GRADE TO BE EXCEEDED FOR ANY PERIOD.' THIS SUGGESTS THAT THE INCREASE IS TO BE ADDITIONAL TO ANY PROMOTION MADE AFTER JULY 3, 1930.

ON JULY 3, 1930, MISS ANDERSON WAS RECEIVING $1,740 PER ANNUM. JANUARY 16, 1931, SHE WAS ,ADMINISTRATIVELY" PROMOTED ONE STEP, TO $1,800. CLEARLY SHE SHOULD RECEIVE THE $60 ADJUSTMENT FOR THE PERIOD JULY 3, 1930, TO JANUARY 15, 1931. THE QUESTION IS WHETHER YOUR LANGUAGE ABOVE MEANS THAT THE $60 IS TO BE PYRAMIDED ON THE PROMOTION OF JANUARY 16 OR WHETHER THE ADVANCE OF THAT DATE IS TO BE TREATED AS A BELATED BROOKHART ADJUSTMENT.

THIS SEEMS ESSENTIALLY THE MATTER DECIDED IN 11 COMP. GEN. 123, A 38647, THE TROUSDALE CASE. BY THE WELSH ACT MRS. TROUSDALE WAS ENTITLED, EFFECTIVE JUNE 30, 1928, TO AN ADJUSTMENT FROM $1,680 TO $1,800. SHE DID NOT RECEIVE IT AT THE TIME, BUT ON SEPTEMBER 1, 1928, WAS GIVEN AN ADMINISTRATIVE PROMOTION TO $1,800. BY THE BROOKHART ACT MISS ANDERSON WAS ENTITLED, EFFECTIVE JULY 3, 1930, TO AN ADJUSTMENT FROM $1,740 TO $1,800. SHE DID NOT RECEIVE IT AT THE TIME, BUT ON JANUARY 16, 1931, WAS GIVEN AN ADMINISTRATIVE PROMOTION TO $1,800. IN THE TROUSDALE DECISION YOU STATE: "THERE IS PRESENTED THE QUESTION WHETHER THESE ADMINISTRATIVE ADJUSTMENTS, THEN THAN UNDER THE WELSH ACT, NOW SHOULD BE TAKEN INTO CONSIDERATION IN DETERMINING WHETHER FURTHER ADJUSTMENTS UNDER THE WELSH ACT ARE AUTHORIZED. IN MOST, IF NOT ALL, OF THE CASES THE ADMINISTRATIVE PROMOTION WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN GRANTED HAD IT BEEN FULLY UNDERSTOOD THAT THE EMPLOYEES WERE ENTITLED TO A CORRESPONDING ADJUSTMENT UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE STATUTE. * * * ACCORDINGLY, AS A BASIS FOR FURTHER SETTLEMENTS BY THIS OFFICE OF CLAIMS FOR WELSH ACT SALARY ADJUSTMENTS BY FIELD EMPLOYEES WHO WERE SEPARATED FROM THE SERVICE, AND ARE OTHERWISE ENTITLED TO SUCH ADJUSTMENTS, ALL INCREASES IN COMPENSATION GRANTED EMPLOYEES IN THE FIELD SERVICE AS OF JULY 1, 1928, WHETHER DESIGNATED OF RECORD AS ADMINISTRATIVE PROMOTIONS OR AS WELSH ACT ADJUSTMENTS, OR INCREASES DESIGNATED AS ADMINISTRATIVE PROMOTIONS MADE EFFECTIVE THEREAFTER AND PRIOR TO EFFECTIVE DATE OF ADJUSTMENTS DESIGNATED ADMINISTRATIVELY AS UNDER THE WELSH ACT, WILL BE CONSIDERED ALIKE AS ADJUSTMENTS UNDER THE WELSH ACT.' ACCORDINGLY, MRS. TROUSDALE WAS GIVEN THE WELSH ACT INCREASE FROM JULY 1 TO AUGUST 31, BUT HER RAISE ON SEPTEMBER 1 WAS TREATED AS A BELATED WELSH ACT ADJUSTMENT IN SPITE OF ITS "ADMINISTRATIVE" LABELING, AND THE INCREASE WAS NOT PYRAMIDED ON THE PROMOTION. THE ONLY DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE TWO CASES IS THAT THE ADJUSTMENT IN ONE WAS UNDER THE WELSH ACT, IN THE OTHER UNDER THE BROOKHART ACT, AND THAT MRS. TROUSDALE WAS IN A FIELD SERVICE, MISS ANDERSON IN WASHINGTON. THE FIRST DIFFERENCE SEEMS IMMATERIAL. THE INCREASES PROVIDED BY BOTH ACTS ARE MANDATORY, CONFER RIGHTS NOT SUBJECT TO ADMINISTRATIVE DISCRETION, AND NOT LOST BY ADMINISTRATIVE DELAY OR FAILURE TO SATISFY THEM. THE DIFFERENCE IN STATUS AS BETWEEN FIELD AND WASHINGTON SEEMS EQUALLY INCONSEQUENTIAL. YOUR REASONING IN A-38647 IS THAT THE SO-CALLED ADMINISTRATIVE PROMOTIONS OFTEN WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN MADE HAD THE DEPARTMENT UNDERSTOOD THE EMPLOYEE'S RIGHT TO THE IDENTICAL RAISE BY OPERATION OF LAW. IT SHOULD, THEREFORE, APPARENTLY MAKE NO DIFFERENCE WHETHER THE ADMINISTRATIVE OVERSIGHT, NEGLECT, OR MISUNDERSTANDING OF THE EMPLOYEE'S RIGHTS AFFECTED A WASHINGTON OR A FIELD POSITION.

YOU ARE THEREFORE REQUESTED TO ADVISE AS TO THE PROPER ADJUSTMENT IN MISS ANDERSON'S CASE ON THE FACTS PRESENTED.

YOUR LETTER IS UNDERSTOOD TO BE A DETERMINATION THAT HAD IT BEEN UNDERSTOOD BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE THAT THIS EMPLOYEE WAS ENTITLED TO ONE STEP OF $60 PER ANNUM, THAT IS, FROM $1,740 TO $1,800 PER ANNUM ON JULY 3, 1930, UNDER THE TERMS OF THE BROOKHART SALARY ACT, SHE WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN GRANTED THE ADMINISTRATIVE INCREASE OF THAT AMOUNT EFFECTIVE JANUARY 16, 1931. IF SO, THE PRINCIPLE STATED IN 11 COMP. GEN. 123, UNDER THE WELCH ACT, CITED BY YOU, IS APPLICABLE AND THE EMPLOYEE NEED NOT BE INCREASED ABOVE THE RATE OF $1,800 PER ANNUM FOR ANY PERIOD ON OR AFTER JULY 3, 1930, UNDER THE TERMS OF THE BROOKHART SALARY ACT.